Q&A with Library Staff: Zach McNay

FaceZach McNay joins the SPU Library staff as our new Access Services Specialist. Learn a little bit about him below in our Q & A interview:

What are some things you are responsible for in your new position?

I am the weekend opener. It is a committed and tired crew of patrons that drag their bodies out of bed and into the library on the weekend. I say crew: let’s be nice to each other, and drink our coffee before we meet at the front desk.

I help with various tasks throughout the library, be it updating the library’s website, working to keep the Summit loan program working smoothly, or contributing to an odd post here and there on this very blog.

I’m also responsible for overseeing and training student workers. I want to help them have a positive and memorable job experience—library work can be fun!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Seattle?

I love the neighborhoods of Seattle, and travelling through them, and it’s fun to snap pictures of interesting things one runs across. Usually I begin at my favorite nook, “The Crumpet Shop”, down at the Pike Place Market. If you visit (and you should), try the crumpet with almond butter, marmalade, and blue cheese—simply the best. From there it’s easy to hop a bus to another neighborhood – walking around Capitol Hill I’ve found what is now my favorite music store in the city (Wall of Sound Records). I also stumbled across the Northwest Film Forum cinema and home office (a smaller cousin to the more well known SIFF cinema in lower Queen Anne), which has become a favorite spot of mine for viewing classic and foreign films on the big screen.

I just like knowing where things are in the city. As the years go by my mental map keeps expanding, and that is immensely satisfying. One thing I’ve learned though on my hikes: always bring an umbrella!

Any new book or movie recommendations?

I would recommend anything directed by Whit Stillman. His films are modern comedies of manners (a la Jane Austen), set in the elitist yet charming world of youthful old-money American preppies. We have his first three films, “Metropolitan”, “Barcelona” and “The Last Days of Disco” here at the library so check all of them out and have a marathon. If you’re in a more austere frame of mind, check out “Lancelot of the Lake” directed by Robert Bresson or “Stalker” directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.

When it comes to books, some of my favorites concern the lives and philosophies of particular filmmakers. I am currently re-reading Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmic autobiography “Sculpting in Time”, but you should certainly check it out once I’m done. Another to devour is the excellent “The Kubrick Façade” by Jason Sperb, an impassioned investigation of the meaning of the films of Stanley Kubrick (my own favorite director). Our collection of books about film at the library is rich and varied so dive in deep!

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